Beckett to miss start; Morales to go Sunday

(Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / August 4, 2012
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The Red Sox, as expected, scratched Josh Beckett from his start Sunday against the Twins because of a lower back injury.

Lefthander Franklin Morales will start in his place.

“Josh feels much better today,” manager Bobby Valentine said Friday. “But he is not going to throw, so he will not pitch on Sunday. But it looks like he’s feeling better.”

Beckett worked out Friday, but he has yet to throw since coming out of Tuesday’s game after experiencing a back spasm.

Valentine said it was “kind of nebulous” whether Beckett would go on the disabled list, but that it seemed unlikely. The question now is when his next start will be.

“I don’t think Monday,” Valentine said. “I don’t know about Tuesday. He might miss a whole [turn through the rotation] or we might slot him in. We’re trying to see how everybody else fits with Josh’s recovery. He hasn’t thrown a ball yet. It’s kind of silly to say when he’ll pitch in a game.”

Morales is 2-1 with a 3.42 earned run average in five starts. He last started July 13.

Papi pushes on

David Ortiz took batting practice on the field and then did some running drills in right field. He is making daily progress with his strained right Achilles’ tendon. But when asked if he would be activated off the disabled list this weekend, Ortiz shook his head.

“No,” he said. “Not yet.”

Hall pass

The Red Sox inducted the newest members of their team hall of fame during the day at Fenway then introduced the class to the crowd before the game.

The group was made up of former players Marty Barrett, Ellis Burks, Joe Dobson, Dutch Leonard, and Curt Schilling, along with retired grounds-keeper Joe Mooney and one-time owner John I. Taylor.

Dobson, Leonard, and Taylor were inducted posthumously. Schilling received the loudest ovation from the crowd and waved at all sections of the park. He was with the team only four seasons (2004-07), but won 53 games and was part of two World Series champions.

“To walk out on that sacred ground and take the ball every fifth day was something I’m very proud of and proud to be associated with,” Schilling said. “I’m very proud. The important thing about something like this is that it’s recognition of the group of people I was with when I was here.”

Schilling has been an outspoken critic of the team since the controversial departure of his close friend Terry Francona as manager. Schilling used the occasion of being honored by the franchise to criticize it.

“Communication is the essential piece to all of it and apparently it doesn’t seem like that’s going very well here,” Schilling said. “It starts at the top in the owners’ box and goes all the way to the clubhouse and everybody has to be on the same page.”

Burks was with the Red Sox from 1987-92 then returned for 11 games in 2004.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Burks, who played for the White Sox, Rockies, Giants, and Indians between his Boston stints. “”I never in my wildest dreams thought the Red Sox would want me to come back here. I’ve never burned bridges wherever I went and played, it was just a matter of me accepting it and wanting to be a part of it once again. I’m glad I did.”

Barrett, a tough little second baseman, was with the Sox from 1982-90. He hit .278 for his career and sparkled in the 1986 postseason.

“I couldn’t have imagined back then that this would have happened,” he said.

Rehab work

Andrew Bailey pitched a scoreless inning for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, allowing one hit, walking one, and striking out two. He will move his rehabilitation assignment to Double A Portland on Sunday and pitch an inning against Erie at Hadlock Field. Bailey is coming back from thumb surgery and should be off the disabled list by the end of the month . . . Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his second rehab start for Triple A Pawtucket on Sunday. against Lehigh Valley at McCoy Stadium.

The Lowe down

The Red Sox have not yet decided whether to pursue righthander Derek Lowe, who was designated for assignment by the Indians on Wednesday. General manager Ben Cherington said the Red Sox are still gathering information . . . The Indians designated Johnny Damon for assignment on Friday. At the moment, the only 2004 Red Sox on major league rosters are Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Bronson Arroyo . . . Jarrod Saltalamacchia was not at the park because of an ear infection and fever. Valentine said he hoped the catcher would be available on Saturday . . . The Red Sox promoted catcher Dan Butler and righthander Josh Fields from Portland to Pawtucket. Catcher Christian Vazquez moved from Single A Salem to Portland . . . Clay Buch­holz was on the field five hours before the first pitch with a radio-controlled car that was zipping around the field at high speeds and jumped the mound at one point. They play a kid’s game, they might as well play with kids’ toys . . . The Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps performed one of the best renditions of the national anthem at Fenway this season.

Globe correspondent Craig Forde contributed to this report. Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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